The Timing Just Ain’t Right…..Or Is It?

by Marcus Sheridan

waiting-right-momentNote** Whenever anyone asks me about doing a guest post here on The Sales Lion, I basically give one stipulation (other than the fact that it has got to be good), and that is the post must contain a personal experience from the author. Well, as you’ll see from the following, my friend Christina Crowe is as real and personal as it gets with this post about her struggles and triumphs with the launching of her first ebook. Considering I wrote a ‘Part 1‘ to this article a few days ago, I’m stoked to have this as a follow up. Check it out folks, it’ll be worth it…..

Still Waiting?

How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m just waiting for the right time?”

Did that person ever actually fulfill what he planned to do – what he was waiting for? Or is he still waiting for the right moment, oblivious to whether that moment will ever come?

How many times have you said this very same phrase, either to yourself, friends, family, or an audience?

If you’re like many people, most likely you’ve said it (or if not, thought it) more often than you can count. You might have even prepared for that moment, counting the days, months, and years until you’ll finally be ready to launch that big product, start that online business, write that amazing blog post, travel the world – and change your life.

The truth is, though, there is no “right time” to do anything. You’ll never have the perfect first launch, business, blog post, or plane trip. If you don’t take action now, you’ll never change your life or improve how you already live.

Yes, there’s a possibility that something may go terribly wrong the first time. And, yes, there’s a possibility that things won’t work out exactly as you planned if you were to damn your fears to hell and take action.

But Flip the Tables Around

What if things did turn out well or even better than you expected them to? What if your first product launch did wind up with over 100 sales in the first 24 hours? What if you’re just turning your back on opportunities and making it harder for them to reach you every time you wait?

My father once told me in the car that he thought about writing a book. At the time, I had just ended my sophomore year of college and we were about to embark on a long 4 hour drive back home. He knew that I loved to write, so it wasn’t a surprise that the subject of writing came up as we sat in silence, gazing gloomily out the window in preparation for the long hours of highway ahead.

But it’s what he said that got my attention – “I always thought that I’d write a book. I just never got around to it.”

He was always just waiting for the right moment to come along. But, in the end, publishing a book simply never happened. He never got around to it.

What would have happened if he did write that book and did get it published?

Hesitation and Uncertainty

Over 5 months ago, I was planning on creating the first ebook for my blog. Writing an ebook was something that I’d always wanted to do, not just because of the residual income involved, but also because I wanted to be a published author one day and figured writing an ebook was the first step.

I reckoned that if I was able to write such a big document, launch it, and have a good reaction from my readers, then I could type up a book, find a publisher interested in it (or else self-publish), and have it sold in bookstores.

But I hesitated. I wanted the launch to be perfect, and so I was holding myself back from success.

Another blogger had recommended launching informational products only after 1,000 RSS subscribers, since you’d have a larger audience and increased sales.

Well, I definitely didn’t have 1,000 subscribers – actually, far from it!

I became discouraged, wrote a few pages of the ebook, and eventually put it off. I was going to wait until my blog became a bit more popular and accumulated more readers. It just wasn’t the right time to launch an ebook – or so I thought.

So I waited, gradually building my readership and yet seeing that arbitrary number so very far away.

I Was Waiting for a Miracle to Happen

One day, I was browsing blogs like I normally do when a fellow entrepreneur emailed me telling me that she saw one of my comments on a blog. She then asked if she could help “pave a little clearer path” for me and my business, since I was fumbling around and didn’t quite know what direction to take.

To me, she was a miracle in disguise, and to this day we have remained pretty good friends. I told her my concerns about creating an ebook too early, and she said something that I would have never expected – “Do it now. Don’t wait.”

Something about that conversation really ignited something deep in the core of my being. I had a spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, my career was about to turn around – that I should stop waiting and write the ebook after all.

I decided to do just that.

For months I slaved over Microsoft Word, writing page after page of text – only stopping to sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom. Finally, at a little past midnight one night, I looked at the final product of the ebook I had written and a sort of joy took over. I could launch an ebook for the first time! It was all over – I could rest.

Excited, I announced the product launch on the blog, in social networks, and through email. Then, I turned off the lights, went into my bedroom, and melted my head down onto the pillow propped up on the bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but smile – I had did it! I had created an ebook.

You Have More Potential to Succeed than You Think

The next day, I was surprised to already see some sales coming in. Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting any money so quickly – especially since my blog still had a long way to go before it reached 1,000 subscribers. And here my ebook was – already making sales the very next morning after the launch!

I still remember the day…

My hair was in tangles, since I had just gotten out of bed. I checked my email and my eyes almost popped right out of my head when I read the message from PayPal saying that I just received $17.98. I was so excited that I began to worry that I would fall out of my chair. Luckily, I was alone in the house at the time – so no one could hear my countless squeals and the racket I was making in my office as I cart wheeled around the room.

The thing is, if I waited, I probably would’ve been too discouraged by the time I did have 1,000 RSS readers to actually write the ebook. By taking action and going with my gut, I was able to do something that I never thought I could before – create an ebook.

But I did it, and I’m glad I didn’t wait.

Writing an ebook had opened my eyes to so many other opportunities as well. In fact, even now I have product ideas formulating in my head that I can’t wait to put down on paper. However, none of this would’ve been possible so soon if I did choose to wait.

Acting now and choosing not to wait for the “right time” might not have done anything drastic like save my life, but it paved a road to my future.

Act now.

There’s never a right time to take action, but there’s always the chance that you’ll lose time to act.

Christina Crowe is an entrepreneur who spends most of her time blogging about freelance writing, reading fiction, and staring at her aquatic pets. Check her out at cashcampfire.com.

What are your thoughts? For those of you who have written an ebook, how’d you do it? Was it tough? Was it worth it? Did you scream in your office as Christina did? ;-) C’mon, jump in and share your thoughts.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina Crowe December 31, 2010 at

Wow, Marcus! You never fail to put a smile on someone’s face. Thanks for the warm editor comments and for allowing me to share a guest post to such a wonderful community you have built up.

You’ve been a terrific friend and supporter over the past several months that I’ve known you. I feel honored to call you a friend. :)

I’ll be dropping by later to answer any questions or comments your readers may have about the post. Thanks again!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Marcus Sheridan December 31, 2010 at

I’m the one that should be thanking you Christina. Love having your energy on here for the next few days. Thanks for your story and I hope you have a wonderful 2011!!! :-)

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Christina Crowe December 31, 2010 at

2011 has gotten me all excited! Can’t wait to set more goals. I’m a master at goal setting – in case you didn’t know. If only I was as apt at accomplishing them. ;)

To a wonderful new year!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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the last day as JK HUSTLE December 31, 2010 at

Christina – It was really nice to hear your journey. I appreciate learning from direct experience. One moniker I’ve recently conjured up: ” the one thing that ‘right time’ and “perfect moment” have in common is that both times are now”.

I’ve set myself up for failure for waiting for that right time. I would organize, plan, then fail to execute. Execution is the most important part of the process. Just get started and you can always go back and re-work it go get closer to perfection. I just read last night in J.D. Meire’s book “Getting Results The Agile Way” and he suggest to start immediately with the actions, then test and improve your results…action inspires.
I thought that approach was worth mention and will be something that I try out heavily in the upcoming year.

You have a big career ahead. Your’re a fabulous writer and your heart is in the right place – helping others. Thanks for the value!

Peace.
.-= the last day as JK HUSTLE´s last blog ..The ONE-TEN Formula- Exceeding Expectations =-.

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Christina Crowe December 31, 2010 at

Hey Jk,

That’s actually good way to think about it. If you believe the right time is now, you’ll no longer wait for something special to happen. As a result, you’ll make more progress in the life you’ve been given.

That’s exactly the mindset I had after I was told to start writing that ebook now. If it turned out the ebook would be a total flop, I could always edit, add to, and improve it. Or else, I could move on and work on another project, knowing that I took the chance with that one. I wouldn’t continue worrying about what would happen once I launched the ebook because I would already know.

Thanks Jk!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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rob white December 31, 2010 at

I love your story, Christina. People who live creative, productive lives experience the same urge to hesitate as those who procrastinate and experience frustration. We discover who we really are when we decline to procrastinate while feeling the urge to hesitate – we really are unlimited potential waiting to be realized.
.-= rob white´s last blog ..An Exercise in Higher Thinking =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Definitely, Rob!

You have to overcome procrastination, get out there, and take action if you want to create a thriving business – or a fulfilling life.

Thanks for the wonderful comment. :)

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Sandra Lee January 1, 2011 at

Christina,
This was such an exciting story to read! I’m was moved by how overjoyed you felt when you completed the e-book before even making a single sale. It’s a huge accomplishment. I love the motto of this story ~ never put off what you can do today. Congratulations on your success.
.-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..Is a Lack of Forgiveness Holding You Back =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Thanks Sandra!

It was tons of work – but, in the end, I’m glad I was able to put everything aside to make it happen.

And yes – It is really exciting to look at the finished product, knowing that you were the one to work hard and create it. It doesn’t even matter if you make sales. Just the fact that you created something worthwhile and valuable is enough to feel proud.

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Keith Davis January 1, 2011 at

Christina / Marcus
You have hit on one of the most important reasons for hesitation…
“Yes, there’s a possibility that something may go terribly wrong the first time.”
How many of us think that?
I know that I do.

An example:
I notice that Wordpress 3.0.4 is out (well it has been ten minutes since the last upgrade) and it is described as a major security upgrade.
I’m determined to do a manual upgrade for my own blog… but what if it goes wrong?

Back to eBooks – looks as though lots of us will be following your advice and example and will soon be waiting for our first $17.98.

As for getting 1.000 RSS subscribers.. I could be very old by then. LOL
.-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Public Speaking Rapport =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

You make a great point Keith. :)

There are risks in everything we do. If we hide in fear of taking action, there would be nothing left to do that wouldn’t require a bit of risk.

Negativity and pessimism, while it might help to some extent, can poison a business because you’ll be too busy agonizing over what would happen rather than making things happen.

Thanks for sharing,

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Danielle January 1, 2011 at

great read dad now I have to go read jays new blog!!!
DJ

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danielle January 1, 2011 at

thanks for having her as a guest post dad!
DJ

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Haha – I’m glad you liked the post. :)

A wonderful new year to you,

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Joe January 1, 2011 at

Christana,

Thanks, today we begin. It’s not perfect, still don’t understand all the controls..but it begins today. Signed up for your newsletter, appreciate the post.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Hey Joe,

I’m glad you liked the post!

I hope you accomplish many things in the years ahead. :)

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Patricia@lavenderuses January 1, 2011 at

Hi Marcus & Christina

Great guest post Christina and congrats on getting your ebook finished, published and selling :-)

I am publishing my first post for 2011 on Tuesday and will share my goals. One of my goals is to write an ebook so this is so on topic for me. I was talking about it for awhile after some of my subscribers asked when I was going to write one.

Hadn’t been blogging long so was a bit bowled over to be honest. Anyway, 6 months into seriously blogging in my small niche, I decided to put it out there. Will be a reminder to me and my blogging buddies will be reminding me too. So I should be very motivated!

Really enjoyed reading about your journey Christina. Well done and may 2011 bring you lots more positive results on your blogging journey.

Patricia Perth Australia
.-= Patricia@lavenderuses´s last blog ..At Lavenderuses Safety First Means… =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Hi Patricia,

You should definitely go out there and write one! I’d love to support you on the way, if I may. :)

In fact, put it on your new year resolution! If anything, the ebook will be an ongoing income stream – which will only continue to grow as your blog grows.

I’m glad this post gave you a bit of inspiration, and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach January 1, 2011 at

Coolness indeed! Congrats on your achievement – may it be the first of many.
.-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..The MOST Important Thing You MUST Do For 2011 no questions asked =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Thanks Barbara!

I hope you have many more accomplishments as well. :)

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Crystal January 1, 2011 at

“… there is no “right time” to do anything.” Love it, Christina! How’d you get so wise so young?
.-= Crystal´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Haha – I always love your comments Crystal. :)

Thanks for your support along the way – I wouldn’t have been able to create the ebook without the support of people like you. :)

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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jonathanfigaro January 1, 2011 at

Th right time is right now. This concept took me a long time to figure it out. But hey, at least I understand now. How potent of a topic you have chosen. Very stylishly written. Keep it up the good work Marcus.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Hey Jonathan,

I’m glad you liked the post. :)

Have a wonderful new year!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Dia January 1, 2011 at

Hi Christina,

What a wonderful story. Exactly, the right time is now. We shouldn’t wait for the perfect time. I was in a similar position like you, the only difference is I created by first e-book before I created by blog and then I had it up the first month. lol Just like you, the first time I made a sale, I was ectatic. Joy filled my heart.

The fact of matter is if you create a product right now, besides your readers and subscribers, people who are searching for the info that you create in your e-book, can come to your site and actually buy it, maybe not from the first time, but as they grow to trust you, they will buy it since they are targeted audience.

One of the best ways to gain credibility is market your products through your articles, if the reader likes what you say in one, two, or three articles, then he/she will consider buying the e-book.

Great post :)
.-= Dia´s last blog ..Happy New Year =-.

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Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at

Hey Dia,

I completely agree that creating an ebook helps build credibility. I noticed that I seem to be getting a lot more emails now than I did before, where readers would ask questions or ask for help. And I love lending my support. :)

I think the general mindset is that if you have enough knowledge about a topic to write a book about it, you must know what you’re doing – and so people then look up to you.

Thanks for the wonderful comment, Dia.

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything You Want for the New Year =-.

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Julie Weishaar January 1, 2011 at

Marcus – thanks so much for letting us read Christina’s advice and experience. Christina, you are so “right” – it is never the “right” time. Perhaps our saying it isn’t the right time is a way to procrastinate? A way of avoiding failure? An excuse for just not doing “it”? Or perhaps a little bit of all of the above. We are all guilty of this in action in one or more areas of our lives. Congrats to you for taking that plunge and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Happy New Year,
Julie
.-= Julie Weishaar´s last blog ..Romeo &amp Juliet =-.

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Christina Crowe January 9, 2011 at

Thanks Julie!

You make a great point. That might exactly be it – just another excuse to avoid taking action, whether it is to avoid failure, letting ourselves down, or completing the work that needs to be done.

Hope you’re enjoying the new year,

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year! =-.

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Adam January 2, 2011 at

Hi Christina,

what a story:) I am happy that your first eBook turned into success. I agree that there is never the right time to do anything but this is only in our minds, the time will never be perfect and it does not mater after all.

If you believe in your skills and believe that your product (eBook in this case) will be useful for other people there is no reason to wait.

Thanks for sharing.

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Christina Crowe January 9, 2011 at

Hi Adam,

I completely agree.

You have to have a bit of confidence in yourself and set aside time to do what you had planned to do now, even if you have only an hour each day. That’s 7 hours a week you’ll be spending on the project and 30 hours a month.

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year! =-.

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Stuart January 2, 2011 at

“Part of what makes a great writer is their ability to be open with their audiences, to connect with them and show them that they too are human, and they have their strengths and weaknesses.”

I think you were certainly open with us Christina, and that’s why I like your style of writing. When I opened this post, and saw that two great bloggers had teamed up to produce this gem, I admit I got a little excited, especially as I know to expect quality writing from you.

And you didn’t disappoint! Thanks for sharing Christina, I’ll be visiting your site many times over the year :-)

Marcus, you sure know how to keep your blog hip and fresh ;-) Wishing you the best my friend :-)

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Christina Crowe January 9, 2011 at

Thanks Stuart!

You’ve been an awesome support over the weeks I’ve known you, and I really appreciate what you said. :)

I always try to be open with myself and other people because I know that sharing both my past failures and successes will help my audience to grow, learn, and achieve their own success.

Best of luck to you!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year! =-.

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Samuel January 3, 2011 at

Awesome post Christiana. You just have to lock up and start. forget about what people will say. All what you need to do is just TAKE ACTION! Many aspiring entrepreneurs never succeed because they are scared of taking action also they are waiting for the right time to come. I’m glad you made it through! Thanks so much :)

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Christina Crowe January 9, 2011 at

Thanks Samuel!

I’m also glad that I didn’t wait any longer. :)

Take action and you’ll achieve so much more than you would years down the road – because the idea is fresh in your mind NOW and so many more opportunities will unlock for you as time goes by if only you would get started.

I’m glad you liked the post!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year! =-.

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Jens P. Berget January 3, 2011 at

Just do it, the old, but still awesome Nike slogan :)

You’re absolutely right. That’s exactly why I am writing my novel. I have been waiting for a while, and then, suddenly I thought, why wait? It will never be the perfect time to write a novel. The same with having kids, when is the right time to get pregnant? Never :-)

I have thought a lot about writing in general, either for my novel or a blog post. When should I write and where? I used to think that I should wait until I was inspired, and that I needed to have a cup of tea, and that I needed to be alone (and I also needed the best laptop money could buy and a very comfortable chair). But now it’s different. I just write.
.-= Jens P. Berget´s last blog ..The Blog Sidebar and how to improve it =-.

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Christina Crowe January 9, 2011 at

You’re right on the mark Jens!

There is never a right time to do something. If you keep waiting for that perfect moment, it will never come and you’ll never write that novel, write that blog post, or even get pregnant.

Just let go of that fear of failure and do what’s in your heart. Does your heart tell you to work on a novel? Will getting that novel published achieve some long-term goal? Will you be better off if you were to get that novel published?

Then go on and get it published! Nothing’s stopping you – only yourself.

Thanks for sharing, Jens, and I hope you finish your novel!

Christina
.-= Christina Crowe´s last blog ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year! =-.

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Jens P. Berget January 10, 2011 at

It’s a long story, but writing a novel has never been a dream of mine or something that my heart told me to do. It’s more like I wanted to test how it would be to work as an author and see if I can write a book.

By the way, I love it, and my deadline is February 1st :)
.-= Jens P. Berget´s last blog ..4 Easy SEO Tips That Will Rock Your World =-.

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Stella January 28, 2011 at

Well put, Marcus. There’s really no perfect time for anything. At the end of the day, instead of analyzing and wondering what will happen, we just have to go out there and do it. This gives us experience to see what works and what doesn’t as well as the confidence to keep going forward.

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